Our Top Pick for 2018
Read our full review.
Few things are more flattering than a nicely styled set of curls, but most of us weren’t born with perfect mermaid ringlets. With so many options out there, it can be tricky to choose the right tool. Do you really need all of those extra features and switches, or can a more simple design give you the look you desire? We’ve compiled a list of 4 of the top consumer-rated curling irons on the market today, including a budget-friendly option for those of us who are watching our wallets. Choosing the right curling wand can help you achieve beautiful curls that will have your friends thinking you just stepped out of the salon.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
|Remington Pro 1-1½” Curling Wand with Pearl Ceramic Technology and Digital Controls, CI9538||7,636 Reviews||from $19.85||Buy on Amazon|
|Curling iron, Perfectwo Studio Salon Collection Digital Ceramic Curling Wand, Hair curler,...||599 Reviews||$19.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control, Mega 1-1/4"||5,623 Reviews||from $29.10||Buy on Amazon|
|INFINITIPRO BY CONAIR Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron with Nano Technology, 1 1/2-inch||2,667 Reviews||$20.00||Buy on Amazon|
#1. Remington T|Studio Pearl Ceramic Professional Curling Wand
Remington has gained a huge following of loyal fans who swear by their effective – and surprisingly affordable – heat styling tools. One of their most-loved tools is their T|Studio Pearl Ceramic Professional Curling Wand. Infused with real pearl, this wand creates salon-worthy curls that last all day (and night!) The barrel of the wand is a light pink color, with a black handle and black cool tip at the end. A small LCD screen on the handle displays the heat, while three buttons below it control the heat and turn it on or off.
We love this product because of its wide range of heat settings. Choose from any heat between 270 to salon-standard 410 degrees Fahrenheit depending on your hair type. For fragile or thin hair, stick with a lower heat to avoid damage. If your hair is thick, a higher heat setting will allow the heat to penetrate the whole section of hair. All it takes to reach its top heat is 30 seconds, so you’re not stuck waiting around. Your chosen temperature is locked in place with the wand’s LCD lock – no accidentally pressing a button and changing the temperature.
To keep you and your fingers safe while you’re styling, a heat protectant glove is included. It is worth noting that the glove is not completely heat resistant; it will protect you from quick contact with the wand, but prolonged contact will still result in a burn. There is also a “cool tip” on the end of the wand, which allows you to hold the very end of the wand without burning yourself. As an added safety feature, the wand is equipped with an auto-off switch to shut it off after 60 minutes so you’ll never have to worry about whether you left your curler on after you left the house.
The Remington Pearl comes in two sizes: ½ – 1 in. and 1 – 1 ½ in. For smaller, tighter curls, choose the ½ inch wand. If you want looser, bouncier curls, the 1 inch wand is for you. Each wand is shaped conically with a larger base and a smaller, more tapered tip. This helps create a more natural curl while making curls more long-lasting.
This wand differs from a traditional curling iron in that there is no clamp. Wands have recently become huge in the beauty world, enjoyed by everyone for their ease of use. No clamp means no annoying crimping at the ends of your hair, and makes styling your hair as simple as “wrap and go.” Users were impressed with how easy it was to curl their hair with this wand. Even beginner users were able to achieve a beautiful, salon quality curl.
By infusing it with ceramic technology, Remington has made a wand that eliminates frizz and promotes shine for a luxurious mane. Ceramic technology has been proven to preserve hair’s natural moisture to help maintain healthy locks and leave a silky finish. It distributes heat evenly throughout the hair to prevent uneven curling, and also creates a snag-free finish so your hair slides easily down the barrel.
So how does it hold up for users whose hair has trouble holding a curl? A large amount of users reported that after using this wand, their hair held a curl for longer than it ever had before. Even users whose pin-straight hair could never hold a curl for more than a few hours reported amazing results. One user says “This is the ONLY wand that has ever held a curl in my hair.” Several users said that even after sleeping on their hair, it maintained a gorgeous curl.
At only $24.99, the Remington Pearl wand is an exceptional product at an exceptional value. It is backed by a 4-year warranty to cover manufacturing defects or damages from regular use. Of over 5,100 reviews, a whopping 84% came in at above 4 stars, giving this an overall rating of 4.4 stars. The few critical reviews stated that the slickness of the barrel made it difficult for them to keep their hair in place. However, some users stated that this improved as they practiced with the wand and became familiar with it.
#2. Perfectwo Studio Salon Collection Digital Ceramic Curling Wand
The Perfectwo digital ceramic curling wand is a gorgeous, sleekly designed tool that provides smooth, long-lasting curls. With an LED screen, shiny gold barrel, white handle and black accents, this is a tool that’s sure to catch the eye of people who see it on your counter. Its luxurious appearance is backed up with powerful salon-quality performance.
With five heat settings up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit, you can lock your desired heat into place by pushing one of the two heat buttons on the handle. Users reported that it was able to reach top heat in under two minutes, making it a convenient tool for those rushed early mornings.
A partial safety glove, which covers the thumb and two fingers, is included. However, if you are prone to accidental burns when using styling tools, you might want to purchase a separate full glove. The black tip on the end remains cool while you work, so you can touch the end without burning. An auto-off feature turns the iron off after 60 minutes.
This wand is available in a ½ in. – 1 in. size to create tighter curls. The tightness of your curls will depend upon the length of your hair and the size of the sections you curl. For someone with very long, straight hair, this wand can produce looser, beachier waves. But if you have very short hair or hair that is naturally somewhat curly, it may create curls that are too tight for you. Similarly to the Remington model, this wand has a wider base and a tapered end for a long-lasting, natural curl.
A clampless design makes styling an easy process, even for beginners, and prevents crimping at the ends. A stand is included to store it easily on the counter or away in a cabinet.
Ceramic technology delivers a smooth, sleek curl with no static or frizz. By delivering even levels of infrared heat, the wand locks in moisture and prevents breakage and heat damage. The result is smooth, silky hair that stays healthy even with high levels of heat. And because the heat is delivered evenly, you avoid the damaging effect of hot spots.
In terms of the longevity of the curls it produces, this wand rivals the Remington Pearl. Even users who previously had trouble getting their hair to hold a curl were impressed with the holding power of these curls.
Although it retails for $59.99, Perfectwo’s is available on Amazon only $23.99. It is backed by a lifetime, hassle-free warranty to cover manufacturing defects. However, it is worth noting that some users reported that it stopped turning on after a few months of use. Others reported that it arrived in non-working condition and had to be returned.
For the performance it delivers, this is an exceptionally priced tool that can easily rival its much pricier competitors. Loved by consumers and critics alike – with a 4.4 star rating out of over 1,700 reviews on Amazon – this wand has earned its spot as the Silver Pick in our list.
#3. Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron with Multi-Heat Control
As the brand name might suggest, Hot Tools Professional 1110 Curling Iron specializes in producing heat styling tools to deliver salon results in your own home. Their product is luxuriously designed with a 24K gold plated barrel and matte black handle.
Four heat adjustments from 280 to 430 degrees Fahrenheit allow you to adjust the heat to suit your hair type. Hot Tools recommends that users with fine or fragile hair use a lower setting, while those with thick hair use the hottest. The heat is adjusted with a small dial on the handle, located directly under the power indicator light. As an added bonus, a separate on-off switch on the handle allows you to keep your heat dialed to your desired setting when turning on and off. Patented pulse technology allows the iron to heat up quickly and stay hot throughout your styling process. Users say the iron reached full heat in 60 seconds.
While no glove is included, Hot Tools did integrate an extra-long cool tip and extra-long thumb grip to make styling safer and easier. Because this iron has a clamp, many find it easier to style without use of a safety glove. If you prefer, you can still pick up a separate styling glove for extra safety.
Unlike the previous wands, this iron has an untapered barrel for curls that stay the same width from the root to the end of the hair. It is available in a wide range of up to nine sizes to allow users to choose from tight curls to loose, effortless waves. The attached clamp holds the hair in place while you curl. However, if you prefer to work without a clamp, it can be removed with a small screwdriver.
Although the barrel is not infused with ceramic technology, the gold-plated surface is extremely smooth and leaves curls silky and shiny. Users reported that their curls stayed in place over a period of time, although the occasional touch up was required here and there. Some critics said that they were disappointed when their curls didn’t last after longer than one day. Additionally, some expressed concern that there was no auto-off feature.
Coming in at a solid 4.1 stars out of 4,232 reviews on Amazon, Hot Tools has produced a seriously impressive styling tool for personal and professional users alike. And at only $30.94, it’s a steal. Hot Tools backs its professional curling iron with a 1-year limited manufacturer warranty, activated on the date of purchase. If you prefer a classic, clamped design, the Hot Tools professional iron is a solid choice with a great reputation.
#4. Conair Infiniti Pro Nano Tourmaline Ceramic Curling Iron
Conair is one of the leading names in affordable heat styling tools. Widely available in most drugstores and local stores, Conair’s heat tools are an affordable way to bring salon style to your home. Their Infinity Pro Nano Curling Iron is a classically designed tool with a silver barrel, black handle and black accents. The heat level is shown on a small LED display above the heat control and on/off button.
Users can select from five heat settings up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat is adjusted by pressing the + or – side of the heat control button. Top heat can be reached in an impressive 30 seconds, allowing you to power up and go without the wait.
Similarly to the Hot Tools iron, no heat glove is included as this iron has a clamp attached. The cool tip and thumb grip have a ridged texture for added friction and grip. An auto-off feature ensures peace of mind on mornings when you rush out of the house – no more calling home to make sure someone can turn it off!
The barrel of this iron is untapered, so your curls are even from root to tip. It is available in five sizes, from the smallest ¾ inch to the largest 1 ½ inch. The small sizes are ideal for tight, bouncy curls while the larger barrels can create loose, glamorous waves. An attached clamp holds hair against the barrel, but can be removed with a screwdriver if desired.
Conair has infused this iron with nano-tourmaline and ceramic technology to create a long-lasting, frizz-free curl. The combination of nano-tourmaline and ceramic helps distribute heat evenly while infusing charged ions to the hair to eliminate static.
With a 4.1-star rating and over 1,440 reviews on Amazon, customers have been widely impressed with Conair’s Infiniti Pro iron. Although the reviews are predominantly positive, a few consistent drawbacks were evident. Many users said that the on/off switch is in an awkward location, and they were accidentally turning it off while curling. Others said that the cool tip was not long enough to safely hold the end of the iron.
Although it retails for $29.99, the Infiniti Pro can be purchased on Amazon for only $16.99, making it the most budget-friendly on our list. It is backed by a 3-year limited manufacturer warranty.
A curling wand or iron with a wide range of heat options will allow you to select the heat that works best for your hair type. For fine or fragile hair, it is important to stay at low heat at the risk of damaging your hair to the point of breakage. Users with thick hair can crank the heat up a bit, but take extra care any time you reach 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
No matter what heat setting you are using, always start off with a heat protectant spray. Heat protectant sprays add moisture and add a protective barrier to the hair to minimize heat damage. Spritz on dry locks before styling and brush through with a comb to distribute the product, then allow to dry for about a minute before styling.
If you’re looking for tight, spiral curls, you’ll want to select an iron with a small barrel. The larger the barrel, the looser and softer the curl you’ll achieve. Most of the brands come in a variety of sizes to allow you to select your desired effect. If you have straight hair that doesn’t hold a curl easily, choosing a smaller barrel will encourage your hair to stay curled for longer.
A coned barrel will create a curl that is looser near the root of the hair and tighter at the ends. This has dual benefits. First, it creates a more natural looking curl. It also helps the hair to hold a curl longer, since the curls ends are slightly tighter. However, this is a matter of preference, as some people prefer a barrel that is not tapered. If you can, try out a few different styles to get a feel for what you like.
Although they might seem like the same thing at first glance, there is a major difference between a curling wand and a curling iron. As opposed to an iron, a wand has no clamp. Some find that wands are easier to use as they can simply “wrap and go.” Others prefer the clamp as it keeps the hair from slipping down the barrel.
Additionally, curling wands are designed to produce more natural-looking waves versus the structured curls of an iron. It should be used with the cord facing up, while an iron should be used with the cord facing down. In the end, neither is truly “better” than the other; it’s simply a matter of preference.
While you may not think the addition of ceramic or tourmaline technology would make a big difference, it makes a major difference to the long-term health of your hair. Both materials help to evenly distribute heat to avoid unevenly heating the hair, which can lead to your style falling flat as well as causing damage to the hair. Because they use infrared heat, the hair doesn’t take as much heat damage. As we all know, damaged hair tends to be dry, frizzy and difficult to work with. And both materials seal the hair’s cuticle for a polished, frizz-free finish.
Most professional hairdressers recommend using styling tools that contain either ceramic or tourmaline technology, as this will promote the health of your hair in the long run. Depending on the tool you choose, you may spend a few extra bucks, but your hair will thank you.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
The Remington Pearl Ceramic wand is made with exceptional materials for an unbeatably smooth curl. The tapered barrel creates natural, long-lasting waves that lasted far longer than many of its competitors. Users who struggled with hair that wouldn’t hold a curl said that this tool was truly “miraculous” for them, allowing them to keep curls in their hair for days without having to retouch. Quick heat-up time is a great convenience for busy mornings, and the auto-off feature will give you peace of mind when you leave the house. At a price that’s almost unbeatable for its performance, Remington’s is a deal that’s hard to pass up. Its outstanding customer reviews landed it at the top of our list as our Gold Pick for the best curling iron.